Walter the Whale

March 29, 2016
Or Winifred, if you want it to be a girl. I found a tutorial on Pinterest to make this whale and had an old pair of jeans to use up so I went for it! The tutorial isn't real precise (granted, the blogger is Finnish), lots of free-handing and eyeballing, but I was still able to work it out. I had a lot of fun making it, and all three of my kids love it too!

Just as a quick side-note, if you're going to make this whale, hand-stitch the eyes at the end (like she tells you to). That way they end up level. Haha!

I posted a pic on my personal instagram and Facebook about a week ago and a lot of people liked it! If I can figure it out, I'll make a pattern and share it! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Love Barrett's swaddle blanket? Click here for a tutorial!

Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

The Easter Bunny - 2016

March 28, 2016
Since our first Easter with Chelsea, Andrew and I decided that we would invite the Easter Bunny to our house on Saturday and save Sunday for thinking more about Jesus and the atonement, but on Saturday morning, Andrew worked overtime, so we arranged for the Easter Bunny to come Saturday afternoon (after nap time and quiet time). The girls were so excited to see the house littered with eggs and candy from the Easter Bunny (Barrett was asleep)! They went to work collecting - and eating - right away!

We have SO much candy at our house. We made a rule that we don't eat any candy until Daddy gets home from work, though, which has worked out pretty well except that I know where the candy is and I'm tall enough to reach it. ;)

Hope you all had a really good Easter!

Happy Easter - 2016

March 27, 2016
Happy Easter from our family to you! Doesn't Andrew look so handsome?

Our Easter Bunny came by yesterday and we had a great time egg hunting in the house and eating lots and lots of candy (plenty of pictures to come!) Of course the kids got to take some with them to church today, and of course Chelsea decided not to put her little bag of candy in my purse when we asked her to and we, consequently, left it home. She was pretty upset, but Alexa was so sweet and shared. What are sisters for, after-all?

Last year, I made dresses for me and the girls and was so thrilled with how they turned out! This year, I was going to make some again, but I decided to buy one for Alexa and let Chelsea wear her birthday dress (look at how much her hair has grown since then!!!) from last year instead. I was able to make time to sew my own dress. It felt good to get back to my sewing machine and make something for myself that wasn't maternity. Plus, I really needed a dress that was nursing-appropriate and those are kinda hard to come by (at a decent price). I'll have to take more pictures of the finished product and post them for you. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!

So Happy Easter everyone! I hope yours is filled with candy, egg-hunting, family, and thoughts about Jesus and His atonement.


Maternity Photos!

March 23, 2016
*photos courtesy of mariasha rowland photography

I made this dress for my baby shower and am so happy that I was able to use it for this shoot too! Mariasha is so talented! I couldn't be happier with how they turned out and am so grateful to have this special time in our lives documented, when we were a family of four.

Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

Chelsea's garden

March 20, 2016

The best photos are the ones captured in the moment. Happy first day of spring!

*alexa was definitely involved in this dirt action, but she was in nothin' but her diaper so, although she looks pretty dang adorable, i'll be keeping those photos to m'self! happy sunday!

My love/hate relationship with Disney Movies

March 17, 2016
With Andrew back at work after a nice long three weeks of paternity leave (THANK YOU FIDELITY!!!) I'm trying to figure out this whole three-kids thing. It hasn't been too bad, but it hasn't exactly been pretty either. Haha! Movies are my lifesaver and of course the number one picks are Disney movies. Pocahontas is the favorite around here, but we've also watched Bambi, 101 Dalmatians (the cartoon), Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Snow White in the last 72 hours.

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disney movies! They're so magical and imaginative and have such good messages with them, but the more I watch these movies, the more I find myself cringing inside.

I don't think of myself as a "hidden-Disney-messages-analyst," because, c'mon. They're Disney movies. Just enjoy the show, allow yourself an hour and a half of childhood magic, then get on with  your life. No, it's not the hidden messages that I get into. It's the parenting.

Just think about it. Which Disney movies can you think of that paint the parent as a bad guy? I'd say number one is The Little Mermaid. Her dad totally obliterates her most prized possessions! And then they briefly show his sorry face as he swims out of the room. Cue cringing.

"Totally," you might say. "He is really portraying poor parenting there." No, that's not why I'm cringing. I'm cringing because although I haven't ripped Chelsea's embarrassingly dirty, practically-torn-to-rags blanket to shreds, but because I can't say that I've never yelled at my children and made some poor parenting decisions myself because I was totally at a loss of how to get through to them. I can relate to the poor guy.

And what about Cinderella? I have to admit, I've been pretty step-mother-ish to Chelsea before. Raise your hand if you've ever locked your child in their room.

Now, The Beast isn't a parent, but I cannot tell you how many times I've yelled "THEN GO AHEAD AND STARVE!!!!" (in my head) at dinner-time!

As for Elsa's mom and dad? Maybe locking their kid up in the castle and denying her of all social contact wasn't the best idea, but how many of us can say we've done exactly the right thing in every situation in regards to our kids?

If you really think about it, with all of Disney's magic and whimsy, they're actually pretty realistic when it comes to the characters.

So here I am, sitting through yet another Disney movie with my little kiddos, sinking further and further into my sofa as I relate to the characters and admit to making their mistakes before, until I remember.


And try not to yell back at Chelsea when she passionately declares that she simply will not wear that shirt! Nobody's perfect, right?

Are there any other Disney movies you have a love/hate relationship with? Leave a comment!

And don't get me started on all the lines Chelsea's picked up on from these movies!

P.S. I'm on snapchat! Come and find me - suesnews

How we're doing

March 11, 2016

should be in bed. But I'm not. Sometimes, even though I know I should take advantage of Barrett's peaceful sleep and getting some z's myself, I decide to check instagram or facebook, or write a blog post sans children running around or in my arms instead. It's nice to have some time to myself, even if it's just for a little while.

So! How have things been going? Not bad. Today was Andrew's first day back at work after a three- week paternity leave. Having him here for three weeks was basically the best thing ever. He was so helpful and seeing his relationship grow with our children was the most endearing thing ever. I watched him play "pat-a-cake" with Alexa the other day and just about died. There's a very special relationship between those two.

Alexa and Chelsea have done really well with the addition of Barrett in our home. Alexa calls him "baby Beddett." Chelsea loves little brother and is really good about helping me to take care of him by holding him, getting me a blanket, a burp rag, a diaper... whatever. She's awesome.

As for Chelsea and Alexa's relationship with each other? Well... there's some to be desired. We're working on teaching Chelsea to be a better share-er and getting Alexa's emotional outbursts down to a reasonable amount of time. Haha! They can be the cutest, silliest couple, though!

Barrett is finally getting over his jaundice! His skin has been looking better for about a week and now his eyes are slowly fading from yellow to a natural white color. Although it's too early to tell, it looks like his eyes will be brown, but I think there's still green-potential!

He is a cuddler! Most of the time he's in my arms and at night, he sleeps with me and Andrew. Some nights I really try to get him to sleep in the bassinet, but I ultimately decide the loss of sleep from letting him cry-it-out and/or soothing him back to sleep isn't worth it. Besides... cuddling up with a sweet, squishy, warm newborn isn't the worst thing in the world!

He has the funniest, squeal-cry. It sounds like a pig. Haha!
He has a strong little neck! He's always lifting his head off of my chest or arm to look around at everything.
He eats. so. much. Basically every 1.5-2 hours. Yeah. I'm never getting out of my house.
He does sleep for 4-hour stretches at night.
He's starting to stay awake for longer periods of time which is really fun!

We had my dear friend Mariasha take some newborn photos with him the other day and I cannot WAIT to see how they turn out! I'll make sure to post some of them here as soon as I get them! (I was only able to convince Andrew to go through with the photos by promising I wouldn't go post crazy). Haha!

So, until then I have a few photos I took a week or so back to stare at when I'm not snuggling with the real thing.

Amazing what the female body can accomplish in just 9 months, isn't it? Speaking of bodies, mine is doing pretty good! Definitely got some good stretch marks and saggy skin on the tummy, but I'm just so grateful my body is able to do what it does.

I'm giving myself at least a month to get used to being at home with three kids before I tackle any other projects, but if I somehow manage to make something cool in the meantime, I'll be sure to share! Thanks for sticking with me!

Tips for your two days

March 2, 2016
Once your baby is born, the clock starts ticking on your 48 hours in the hospital. Some people are anxious to get out of the hospital and check out the moment the doctors and nurses will let them. Others of us like to take advantage of the quiet room, nursery, food prep and clean up, etc.

Having had three babies now and three stays at the hospital, I've come up with a few tips for those of you who are like me and stay at the hospital the full 48 hours. These tips will help make your time in the recovery room more organized, productive, and restful. That's right. Both productive and restful because you can only sleep so much.

Having a baby is hard, tiring work, especially if you've had a really long labor. It's hard, tiring work for the baby, too. Take a leaf out of her book and sleep.

I didn't want my first baby out of my sight (or Andrew's) even for a moment. I think she went to the nursery once, and not for very long. With Alexa and Barrett, I decided that I needed my sleep and I had a whole slew of very capable, trust-worthy nurses at my fingertips, just waiting for me to send them my baby for a few hours before he got hungry again.

If you've had enough sleep for the moment, spend some time writing down your baby's birth story while you've got some down time and it's all still VERY fresh in your memory.

Thank you!
I'm sure there are people in your life who have recently stepped up to help you out with babysitting or gifts (perhaps from a baby shower?). Write them some thank yous!

Photo op!
If you're feeling up to it, grab your camera and snap some pics! If you have a nice camera, awesome, if not, use your phone. Either way, you're capturing moments.

Drink, relieve, repeat.
The more you drink, the better your milk will flow. The emptier your bladder, the quicker your uterus will shrink back down to size. I didn't learn that until my third baby.

Something you can Depend on
Those mesh panties are... nice... or you could buy and bring some grown-up diapers. Very convenient.

Extra Bag
When I packed my bag for the hospital, I made sure I had all the essentials for after baby. Comfortable clothes, toiletries, etc. but I also packed an extra bag for all the paperwork, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby bath sponges, and other stuff they send home with you. Whenever they brought me these things, I would stow them away in my extra bag.

Take everything
If they tell you that you can take it home with you, take it. Diapers, wipes, pacifiers, mesh panties, enormous pads, those blue bed liner things for just in case your pad didn't catch everything... take it all.

Keep your pen handy
I'm not kidding, they bring you SO. MUCH. PAPER WORK. The best thing is to just get that paper work filled out right after they bring it to you.

I didn't get many visitors this time around because all of my friends were sick, but my Bishopric came, which was really fun, even though they came right after I had sent my baby to the nursery and gotten all ready for bed! So decide whether or not you want visitors, then tell your potential visitors to call or text before they come so you can be prepared and actually have the baby with you when they come by!

Snuggle. Duh.
You've been waiting nine months to meet this tiny, squishy, soft, warm little person! He won't mind the snuggles one bit, and you deserve it!

To me, those two days in the hospital with your brand new baby are so special and precious. It's almost like a honeymoon in my mind. You spend two days with this brand new little love-of-your-life, just the two of you (or three depending on how much Dad is able to be there), getting to know each other and creating a bond that will last a lifetime. You don't have to worry about making dinner, cleaning up, or even doing your hair and makeup if you don't want to. This time is for you and your baby. Take advantage of it.

Is there anything you would add to this list? Leave a comment below, and thanks for stopping by!
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